- David Bote hit a walkoff grand slam to dead center and turned a shutout into a win. Bote’s homer was worth .901 WPA, which is about as big as it can get in a single PA. If WPA took into account the fact that he had two strikes at the time, it would be even bigger. Bote now has a .329/.418/.539 slash line on the year. The legend grows.
- Overshadowed by Bote’s heroics and Scherzer’s gem on the other side of the diamond, Cole Hamels had a fantastic start. Hamels went seven innings, striking out 9 and allowing just one hit and one walk. Unfortunately those were in the same inning and the Nats plated a run on a sac fly. So far it looks like the whole change of scenery thing is working out okay, and Hamels is probably the guy you would trust most to take the ball in a win or go home situation. Not bad for a guy who was kind of an afterthought a month ago, and who some of us cheered simply for finally pushing Chatwood out of the rotation.
- Aside from the Bote-bomb, the most consequential play in the ninth that the Cubs had something to do with aside from being hit by a baseball was Heyward legging out an infield ‘single’ that started the rally. Difo may have bobbled the grounder, but Heyward busting his ass down the line certainly had something to do with it.
- Brandon Kintzler crapped the bed a bit against his former teammates, allowing some insurance runs to the Nats in the ninth. At least Justin Wilson managed to limit the damage this time. I was jumping between the TV and radio while finishing cooking dinner and my broadcast was behind a bit, which made me think for longer than it should have that the Nats scored another two runs off of Wilson to make it 5-1.
- Kintzler didn’t get a ton of help from War Bear on the triple by Turner, and the Cubs intentionally walked Harper for the 100th time in the past few years and got burned yet again.
- The Cubs offense had nothing going until the ninth, but Scherzer is pretty good. At least they were being shut down by the likely CYA winner and not some rando this time around.
Next up: The Cubs have a day off, then a two game set against the Brewers. The Cubs are three games up in the division (and five in the loss column), and I’m hoping to bust out that Counsell pic a few more times this week. The Cubs have Quintana and Hendricks (on his bobble head day!) facing Chacin and Guerra.